The negative impact that the modern economy has on the environment remains a corporate headache. While everyone accepts that sustainable business practices are necessary, the motivation may be stifled due to the perception that an initiative will raise operational costs. Primarily, companies look to reduce waste or establish recycling stations, not realizing that there are many more ways to reduce their carbon footprint without increasing the budget.
The truth is with the right “going green” strategy, companies can actually reduce their operational costs while doing their part for the environment. With more and more members of the public basing consumer decisions on how eco-friendly a company’s operations are, making the move towards a sustainable business model makes perfect sense.
Sustainable Strategies for Going Green in Modern Offices
In recent times, new technology and manufacturing techniques have become more environmentally friendly and the entire supply chain offers opportunities to improve operations and reduce cost. Sustainability requires companies to take a long-term view regarding operations. Simple, small changes can bring huge savings without creating any disruptions in the businesses’ productivity. While very few companies can achieve a carbon-neutral operational model, the following initiatives will quickly reduce costs and help companies become a more sustainable business.
Reduce Power Consumption
Not every power-saving strategy requires installing solar panels or switching to green energy. By replacing the lighting in the office with LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs, companies will use 20 to 30% less energy than with the older incandescent lights. Additionally, these lights last 25 times longer on average than the older versions. Although they cost more to procure initially, the reduced energy consumption and replacement cycles will produce savings in the medium-term.
Similarly, using Energy Star rated digital infrastructure such as printers, copiers, scanners, and computers will reduce the total daily power consumption. Modern Multifunction Devices (MFDs) use fewer watts when operating, while the wake-up times aren’t negatively impacted. Using power saving settings on the equipment and devices, companies can save large amounts on their energy budget.
Use Remanufactured Toner Cartridges
One of the biggest impacts an organization has on the environment is not using remanufactured toner cartridges or sustainable paper suppliers. With remanufactured toner cartridges, the actual amount of prints per cartridge increases while the unit cost is less than an OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer) supplies.
A remanufactured toner cartridge also does not end up in a landfill or a recycling facility that uses energy and chemicals to recycle the plastic. Remanufacturers provide the same quality of toner cartridge as an OEM, with modifications that house more ink while costing between 30 and 60% less. Finding a supplier that provides quality remanufactured toner cartridges will immediately reduce the operational bottom-line.
Digitize the Company’s Workflow
Modern Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) use workflows that allow companies to reduce their paper footprint. While paper is still a necessity in most offices, by adopting a technology first digital transformation approach to the company’s information processing they will gain additional savings in the long-term.
Moving to an EDMS system for managing all documents and records will also improve efficiency and office productivity. All documents reside in a central location, and staff can quickly retrieve any of them using the metadata created during capturing. By moving to an electronic document workflow, companies will also improve information security. A data breach or unintentional disclosure of information can lead to fines and even cause reputational damage to the organization.
Sustainable Business Strategies for the Short and Long Term
Making use of the opportunities indicated above will ensure both long- and short-term benefits to the organization’s budget and overall sustainability. While initial investments may be required for sourcing more energy-efficient equipment or implementing new software solutions, the long-term savings on electricity bills and reduced paper consumption will balance out the cost of the initial layout. Similarly, by using remanufactured toner cartridges, savings are available immediately without compromising on any of the print quality or any MFD’s efficiency.
While all these efforts will lead to savings, managing, and monitoring all the different elements may seem daunting. Currently, the best option for organizations that need to achieve greater efficiency on a limited budget would be to look into managed services solutions.
Managed Services solutions include:
- Managed Print Services in order to regain control over the printing fleet and provide access to new energy-efficient MFDs.
- Managed Network Services that provide access to the latest information technology (including hardware) and advanced network security.
- Document Management and Workflow solutions in order to streamline the company’s processes and information routing.
Edwards Business Systems as Your Sustainable Business Partner
Edwards Business Systems has provided office technology solutions to companies in Eastern Pennsylvania and Central Virginia for more than half a century. As an expert in cost-saving and sustainable business practices and initiatives, Edwards Business Systems can assist with any environmentally friendly strategy without negatively affecting the bottom-line.
For an integrated work environment that also reduces the daily operational overheads, contact Edwards Business Systems for an assessment today.